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By Sauvage J.-P. (ed.)

This sequence offers severe experiences of the current place and destiny developments in glossy chemical learn. It includes brief and concise stories on chemistry, each one written by means of the world’s well known specialists, and nonetheless legitimate and helpful after five or 10 years.

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The ®nding that 37b rotates equally in both directions is contrary to the Feynman scenario excerpted above. But as Feynman recognized, his argument, while tantalizing, is specious. For Feynman's device, or our 37b, to rotate unidirectionally without an input of energy would require the violation of the principle of microscopic reversibility and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In summary, the synthesis of triptycyl[4]helicene 37b successfully incorporates into a single molecule the essential components of a simple ratchet: the asymmetric combination of a ratchet wheel, a pawl and a spring.

3) [24]. From the rotation of these systems there arises, in the absence of slippage, a particular case of stereoisomerism, which has been dubbed by Iwamura as ``phase isomerism'' [25]. If two blades, one in each wheel, are labeled, three stereoisomers are produced, a racemic pair and a meso form. More complex triptycene molecular gears are those composed of more than two connected triptycenes. The use of mechanical gear trains is an idea of great antiquity used by the Greeks, inter alia, to compute planetary motions [26].

The use of triptycenes as molecular gears (Fig. 2) has been studied since the 1970s mostly by Mislow and Iwamura [20]. The simplest triptycene molecular gears were constructed by Oki [22] using two triptycene derivatives connected by an appropriate bridge (CH2, NH, O, SiH2, AC@CA). According to computational studies the gearing barrier in Tp2X (X ˆ CH2, CO) and Tp2O is only 1±2 kcal mol)1; thus the Tp rotors are Rotary Motion in Single-Molecule Machines 23 Fig. 2. Physical bevel gear (reproduced with permission from [20c]) highly mobile, almost frictionless, and tightly meshed and securely interlocked bevel gears.

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